GARSTANG played Lytham at home on Saturday, and Lytham seemed to be at full strength and their quality showed early on with Garstang under constant pressure.
Two Garstang players, who had been suffering from colds last week, were obviously struggling to get the stick on ball and this limited the coaches’ options with his substitutes.
Sarah Muir was working well in defence and Lily Helme and Grace Holder kept trying to attack at pace relieving some of the pressure. Lytham scored after seven minutes from a ball that bounced up awkwardly and was neatly taken on the reverse stick by a Lytham player to make it 0–1.
Everything seemed to go Lytham’s way and it took time for the umpires to curb their habit of taking free hits on the run, forward of the place of offence, further adding to Garstang’s frustration. After 12 minutes a good combination attack by Fran Summers, Lily Helme and Becky Goldsmith came near and but for an unfortunate Garstang foot in the D could have levelled matters.
Garstang’s defence were working hard, particularly at penalty corners, and Donna Richardson at left back and Sarah Skelton (SJ) in goal were playing superbly in the D. With eight minutes to go in the half SJ made a superb diving save and Donna deflected a strong shot away from goal at a penalty corner 30 seconds later. After 31 minutes Lytham scored from a superbly worked penalty corner to make it 2-0.
Garstang came out much stronger at the start of the second half and the game see-sawed with quick attacks on the break by both sides.
After 12 minutes SJ in the Garstang goal made one of the best saves of the season changing her direction of travel at the last second and somehow making a diving pad save to the more difficult left side. Garstang were again under huge pressure and the defence did very well to hold a quality series of attacks by Lytham.
After 18 minutes Lytham made it 3-0 after a well-worked penalty corner. Garstang however kept going and Fran Summers scored a superb goal after 23 minutes beating two players and the ‘keeper and finishing with an artistic reverse stick flick that gladdened the hearts of the Garstang supporters.
n GARSTANG are always looking for new players. If you would like to go along to meet them visit the website at garstangladieshockeyclub.com or ring the head coach Dave Gee on 07774-792-824.